Every company will have a different culture and the way that each company handles business will vary greatly due to size, status, and the people that work there. Just like it is a different feel walking into a supermarket vs. a farmer’s market there is a different feel to each 3PL. Learning about a company’s culture can come through bidding and visiting with prospective logistics providers. The culture and the way that the provider operates will dictate the contacts that you have for each project. These contacts are extremely important, here’s what they do:
The first person to make contact with will usually be a salesperson, or a client solutions specialist. They are here to make sure we get the scope of your project right. This person will talk to people in operations and customer service while answer Request for Proposals (RFPs) and making quotes. Client Solutions Specialists are generally very organized and detailed in the questions that they will ask, so that the set up and operations will go as smooth as possible once the project is ready to start.
Customer Service Reps
When setting up points of contact with a 3PL you should receive a dedicated customer service representative or CSR within the first couple days of start-up. This person is your go-to for pretty much anything you will need from your logistics provider. Invoicing questions, inventory levels and day to day operations are just the start of what a CSR can handle for you. “We are an extension of our client’s business and we work together as if we were at the same company, ” said Jean Parupsky, Director of Customer Service. Some of the CSRs with long term clients know their trends, and can catch mistakes or mishaps before they happen. If a Customer Service Rep knows that there are always orders going out on Tuesday, and they don’t come in, the rep is on the phone trying to make sure that those orders aren’t supposed to be here.
“Better Communication = Better Results”– Jean Parupsky
Logistics Operations Professionals are the ones handling the product in the warehouse day in and day out. There are the forklift drivers and pickers that unload and move product from trucks and rail cars to their locations within the warehouse. There are also management teams that strategically find the most efficient way to store the thousands of pallets and SKUs that are in the warehouse. Communication from the CSRs to the Operations professionals is extremely important for efficient storage and accuracy of orders.
Switchboard professionals are the planners; they keep everything running smoothly by setting up appointments for deliveries. Logistics planners, and drivers can call in to make appointments when handling full truckloads. This ensures that we can get as many trucks in and out of the docks per day as possible. Here at Murphy we operate on a first come first serve basis for outbound trucks, but require an appointment for inbounds.
Thanks for reading! Be sure to check back next week as we discuss how personal relationships can help with efficiency, cut down on mistakes and make day to day operations even smoother.